Swimming: Singapore's Yip Pin Xiu wins gold in women's 100m backstroke S2 at Tokyo Paralympics
SINGAPORE: Singapore's Yip Pin Xiu won gold in the women's 100m backstroke S2 final at the Tokyo Paralympics on Wednesday (Aug 25).
The double world champion finished in a time of 2:16.61 at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.
"It’s an amazing feeling to be able to hear our national anthem play at the Tokyo Aquatic Centre," Yip told CNA.
"The race itself was a big opportunity for me to race again here today and prepare for my next race coming in a week’s time. I’m really excited for that as well."
She said that she was "grateful" for the extra year she had to prepare for the Paralympics, as the Games were postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yip added that she had to stop training for a few months because of the pandemic.
"I hope you stay tuned for the next few days of events because it's going to get very exciting," Yip said. "Thank you so much for all the support you've shown all this time."
Yip also won gold in this event at the Rio Paralympics in 2016.
She will next compete in the 50m backstroke S2 on Sep 2, an event which she also dominated in Rio.
Yip was the first Singaporean to win two golds at the Paralympics, in the 50m backstroke S2 and the 100m backstroke S2 where she set a world record time of 2:07.09 in the 2016 Games.
Her split timing of 59.38 in the first lap of the event was also a world record time. Both world records still stand today.
Prior to her triumph in Rio, Yip already wrote her name in the history books when she became the first Singaporean to reach gold at the Paralympics after winning the 50m backstroke S3 event at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.
She also has a number of World Championships and Asian Para Games medals to her name.
Yip was crowned Singapore's Sportswoman of the Year at the Singapore Disability Sports Awards in August.
Apart from her achievements in the pool, Yip, who was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy as a child, is also a former Nominated Member of Parliament.
Earlier on Wednesday morning, Yip finished first in her heat with a time of 2:14.46.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong congratulated Yip on Facebook, saying that Team Singapore is "off to a golden start" at the Games.
"Pin Xiu, Singapore is proud of you, and you inspire all of us!"
With a fourth Paralympic gold in hand, Yip's achievement is "simply legendary", said Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong.
"This is in spite of preparations disrupted by a pandemic, severely impacting her opportunities to train and compete internationally," said Mr Tong in a Facebook post.
"It is in spite of her condition, which causes her muscles to degenerate with age. All her hard work in finding different ways to train, setting up time trials and taking part in local meets have paid off!"
Mr Tong added that Yip has shown "what it means to be resilient amid difficult times".
"Congrats Pin Xiu! We’re all incredibly proud of you. Looking forward to your next race."
Team Singapore is fielding 10 athletes across six sports for the Tokyo Paralympics, equalling the number of sports Singapore participated in at the last edition of the Games.
Four of these athletes are participating for the first time.
Catch daily highlights and coverage of Team Singapore at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, LIVE on meWATCH. Sign in now at mewatch.sg/paralympics2020 and get into the action with Mediacorp, Singapore’s Paralympic Network.